ROSLYN: You've reached the Love and Luck Podcast.
RICARDO: [frustrated] Hi, it's Ricardo again. I'm... it's another bad night.
[Sigh] I keep having the same nightmare. I mean... I have a lot of nightmares, and they're not all the same, but... there's this one I keep having that wakes me up every single time.
I'm in a forest, and... I'm trying to run away from people who are trying to hurt me. But I keep getting my clothes caught on branches, or tripping over rocks, things like that. And I can hear the people getting closer and closer, and angrier and angrier.
And then I smell smoke, and the birds are flying towards me, and I realize that the forest is on fire. The people are still chasing me, and I realize I have to make a choice. Either I run into the fire and burn, or I wait for the people chasing me to come kill me.
So I run into the fire. I start to burn, and it's the worst pain I've ever felt, and I start screaming... and then, I wake up.
I mean, it's not exactly subtle. I'm trapped and I end up hurt and dying. I don't need a dream interpreter to tell me what's going on with that.
[Sigh] I just wish I could stop it. I'd give just about anything for a single night of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Maybe I should see a doctor or something. I don't know.
KANE: Hey Jason, if I'm not home when you get downstairs, don't worry. Ricardo just wanted company to the doctor, so I'm going with him for moral support.
We shouldn't be too long, the wait time isn't too bad at Acland Court. Michael and Helen are holding down the fort while I'm gone.
See you when you get up or when we get back, however it works out.
[Shopping Centre Ambiance]
KANE: [Annoyed] Well, that was a waste of time. The receptionist made a mistake and there wasn't actually an available appointment after all. And they're booked solid at the moment due to some flu going around, so, ugh.
We made a new appointment for Friday, so that's something, but it does mean a couple more rough nights for Ricardo.
I'm... still in public, so I'll drop you another message when we get back. Love you.
KANE: Hey. So. Now that I can talk a little more freely - remember how I used to help you sleep through noise with magic? I'm normally asleep by the time Ricardo goes to bed, so I can't really do that for him myself, but maybe you could? It's gotta be a worth a try. Poor guy looks exhausted.
JASON: [Tired] Hey. So, it's like... five thirty, Jesus Christ. Anyway. I'm gonna come up to bed like... right after I leave this message.
Ricardo was putting off going to bed for a long time tonight. Didn't want the nightmares, I guess. I get that.
We stayed up a while talking about stuff. We talked about finding him a therapist, but... I don't know if he'll try. Finding the right therapist is rough even when you aren't queer, you know? But... I told him I'd call QLife and get some referrals from there, so... maybe we can find someone good. I hope we can.
It was... hard. We talked about some hard things. But... I think it helped? A bit? I don't know. Maybe I just hope it helped.
Anyway. I've been trying to magic some soothing sleep his way for the past twenty minutes or so. I hope it's working, because I'm exhausted and can't wait to go to sleep myself.
I love you. See you tomorrow.
KANE: Hey honey. Ricardo's not up yet, so that's a good sign towards some decent sleep. I've been trying to extend his sleep this morning, as well.
I hope you're sleeping well. You sure seemed to be when I got up this morning, although... you did look a bit rough. I think you might have worn yourself out a little last night.
I love you, but maybe use a little less energy if you try again tonight, yeah? You're not much use to anyone if you wear yourself out, you know? Good self care practice applies as much to magic as it does to anything else. Remember our mundanity rule.
I love that you're willing to tire yourself out for people, though, even if it's not the best idea. It makes me really happy to know I have such a caring and compassionate boyfriend. You make me feel like making the world better is not just possible, but achievable. [Sigh] I love you.
JASON: [Nervously] Hey, okay. So. Kind of a big development tonight.
I was chatting with Ricardo as I was closing up, and he asked me if I could, quote, "do that thing you did last night again", because it helped him sleep a lot better.
At first I was like, what, you wanna talk for a while before bed? Because that's cool, I'm up for that. I mean, I'm usually happy to chat with anyone who's still up before I go to bed. Helen's often around for it too. It's nice quiet bonding time, you know?
But then he said, "No, I mean, can you do that thing where you reach into my head and smooth out the bad feelings."
I must have looked like I saw a ghost, because he started asking me if I was okay, because I looked like I was going to be sick or something.
Fuck, Kane. I didn't feel like I was going to be sick, but I did feel like the fucking floor fell out from under me.
No one's ever been able to feel us soothing them before. Or at least, not that we know of, I guess. No one's ever mentioned anything even close to it.
I asked him for more details, and... it sounds like he's been able to feel us soothing him for a while now. Not the whole time we've known him - no, from the sounds of it, he only started noticing it after the whole thing with the homophobes was finished. But that's... that's still a few weeks now, at least.
Anyway, uh... yeah. So, I did soothe him, and tried to help him sleep again like last night, and... uh, well, he hasn't come back downstairs or anything, so I guess it must have worked.
But... holy shit, Kane. Ricardo can feel our magic. He knows.
ROSLYN: Love and Luck is written by Erin Kyan, and produced by Passer Vulpes Productions.
Kane is voiced by Lee Davis-Thalbourne. Jason is voiced by Erin Kyan. Ricardo is voiced by Justin Jones Li. Credits spoken by Roslyn Quin. Recorded by Kermie Breydon and Eris Barnes.
Thank you to Red L for supporting this episode.
Qlife is a real counselling, and mental health and referral service for LGBTIQA+ people in Australia. If you need support, you can can contact them online at qlife.org.au or by phone on 1800 184 527, between 3pm and midnight, any day of the week.
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[Music fades out]